Andrews' fresh interpretation of the classic mystery form used by Nero Wolfe author Rex Stout makes her Turing Hopper series stand out in the crowded arena of amateur sleuths. Turing is an AIP—artificial intelligence personality—who lives in a computer at Universal Library. She's nervously waiting to move to a new home, after Ray Santiago finishes building the state-of-the-art computer in which she'll live.

But when Ray is murdered and his laptop stolen, Turing's existence also may be in jeopardy. Why was Ray killed, and did his computer contain sensitive information that now can be used to destroy Turing? To find the answers, she enlists the help of her human friends Maude and Tim. The trio's search for Ray's killer leads them into the world of computer role-playing games, where the identities of others can't be trusted and red herrings abound.

Turing is an intriguing sleuth who has a unique view of both her virtual computer world and the environs of her human friends. Witnessing this AIP's growth as a believable and endearing character and the depiction of what computers may become in the near future make this series a welcome change of pace for mystery lovers. (May, 304 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters